The most telling snapshot of this rout, which had been clinical to the point of sterility, came a few seconds into added time. Arsenal had barely missed a beat all night but now, near the corner of their six-yard box, the Lens striker Elye Wahi had a presentable chance to gnaw the faintest dent in their lead. That was until Gabriel Magalhães, whose evening could hardly have been more comfortable until then, snuffed out the opening with a thudding challenge and celebrated in front of the home fans as if he had scored their seventh goal.
Arsenal had to settle for six but Mikel Arteta loved that moment. It spoke eloquently, chest-thumpingly, of the focus that has enabled them to cruise through a modest Group B in top spot with a game to spare. The crowd, who had been contented by a rampant first-half performance and warmed further by a late Jorginho penalty, would have forgiven a consolation for the visitors but that notion was anathema to Gabriel. Exactly this level of diligence will be needed when tougher continental tests arrive in the spring and Arteta was delighted by the tone his players have set.
Written by Nick Ames at the Emirates Stadium
This news first appeared on https://www.theguardian.com/football/2023/nov/29/arsenal-lens-champions-league-match-report under the title “Arsenal romp into last 16 as Kai Havertz sparks six-goal demolition of Lens”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.